1When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
observe carefully what1 is before you,
2and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to appetite.
3Do not desire his delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.
4Do not toil to acquire wealth;
be discerning enough to desist.
5When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
for suddenly it sprouts wings,
flying like an eagle toward heaven.
6Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy;2
do not desire his delicacies,
7for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.3
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
8You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten,
and waste your pleasant words.
9Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
for he will despise the good sense of your words.
10Do not move an ancient landmark
or enter the fields of the fatherless,
11for their Redeemer is strong;
he will plead their cause against you.
12Apply your heart to instruction
and your ear to words of knowledge.
13Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
14If you strike him with the rod,
you will save his soul from Sheol.
15My son, if your heart is wise,
my heart too will be glad.
16My inmost being4 will exult
when your lips speak what is right.
17Let not your heart envy sinners,
but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.
18Surely there is a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.
19Hear, my son, and be wise,
and direct your heart in the way.
20Be not among drunkards5
or among gluttonous eaters of meat,
21for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
and slumber will clothe them with rags.
22Listen to your father who gave you life,
and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23Buy truth, and do not sell it;
buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
24The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
25Let your father and mother be glad;
let her who bore you rejoice.
26My son, give me your heart,
and let your eyes observe6 my ways.
27For a prostitute is a deep pit;
an adulteress7 is a narrow well.
28She lies in wait like a robber
and increases the traitors among mankind.
29Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30Those who tarry long over wine;
those who go to try mixed wine.
31Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.
32In the end it bites like a serpent
and stings like an adder.
33Your eyes will see strange things,
and your heart utter perverse things.
34You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
like one who lies on the top of a mast.8
35“They struck me,” you will say,9 “but I was not hurt;
they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
I must have another drink.”
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.